Quoted: Priyamvada Gopal on Vogue Italia’s Black Issue

The real problem is less the absence of non-white faces from the media than the repeated underlining of “whiteness” as universally relevant even within the already “special” domain of women’s interests. A quick survey of columnists writing on “women’s issues” in the British media underscores this. Hardly any are non-white, while those that are will be invariably positioned as specialists on “multicultural”, “Muslim” or “black” issues. Put simply, white people have ordinary lives and concerns while non-white people have “issues”. “White” is content-free; everybody else is marked by their ethnicity. […]

Fashion, of course, has long relied on non-white women – the multitudes of farm and factory workers who pluck the cotton, tend the silkworms, weave the fabrics and sew the garments. Their invisibility and ongoing exploitation by the industry is not going to be addressed by a proliferation of Tyras and Naomis. Nor are difficult issues of ethnic divisions and social marginalisation about to be sorted by special issues which only render whiteness further invisible and, hence, unquestionably normative. Maybe it is time now for a “white issue” with a focus, for once, on “whiteness”, what underlies its privileges and internal divisions, and how it perpetuates itself as a norm, one so entrenched that it has the power to render everything else a separate issue.

— Priyamvada Gopal, the Guardian’s Comment is Free, “Vogue: all white now?”

About This Blog

Racialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable Keanu Reeves John Cho newsflashes.

Latoya Peterson (DC) is the Owner and Editor (not the Founder!) of Racialicious, Arturo García (San Diego) is the Managing Editor, Andrea Plaid (NYC) is the Associate Editor. You can email us at team@racialicious.com.

The founders of Racialicious are Carmen Sognonvi and Jen Chau. They are no longer with the blog. Carmen now runs Urban Martial Arts with her husband and blogs about local business. Jen can still be found at Swirl or on her personal blog. Please do not send them emails here, they are no longer affiliated with this blog.

Comments on this blog are moderated. Please read our comment moderation policy.

Use the "for:racialicious" tag in del.icio.us to send us tips. See here for detailed instructions.

Interested in writing for us? Check out our submissions guidelines.

Follow Us on Twitter!

Support Racialicious

The Octavia Butler Book Club

The Octavia Butler Book Club
(Click the book for the latest conversation)

Recent Comments

Feminism for Real – Jessica, Latoya, Andrea

Feminism for Real

Yes Means Yes – Latoya

Yes Means Yes

Sex Ed and Youth – Jessica

Youth and Sexual Health


Online Media Legal Network

Recent Posts

Support Racialicious

Older Archives


Written by: